Dominic Cummings, a political strategist often described as the brains behind the rise of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has left Johnson’s administration. It was a very public departure: on Friday, November 13, he walked out of the front door of 10 Downing Street with a cardboard box under his arms, in front of banks of photojournalists.
In 2015 and 2016 Cummings was director of “Vote Leave,” the activist group that successfully advocated for a referendum to require the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (the “Brexit.”)
In July 2019, Boris Johnson became the UK’s Prime Minister. He appointed Cummings his “Chief Advisor,” a new name for the post that had previously been known as the Chief of Staff.
Cummings became a political liability to Johnson for a number of reasons. The most important was his flouting of the ‘lock down rules’ created to halt the spread of the pandemic in 2020.
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Beyond the issue of the lock down rules, Cummings’ departure is seen in Britain as a sign of a shift on the PM’s part away from the original Brexiteers, and perhaps a step toward an amicable agreement with the EU on a post-membership trade deal.